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Arab voices: 'We live like dead people'

People clamor to buy food at a Baghdad market.
People clamor to buy food at a Baghdad market.

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Latest news in Arabic: CNNArabic.com external link

(CNN) -- The following is a sampling of media reports and interviews from newsmakers, officials and journalists from and in the Middle East with views of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Iraqi civilians

A South African television station posted a story on its Web site about civilian life in Baghdad. Below are excerpts from that reporter's article.

Despite the chaos that has ensued since the fall of Saddam Hussein, women from Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim majority hope their children will enjoy better lives now that the strongman they blame for their desperate plight is gone.

"When I heard that Saddam's regime had fallen I suddenly had an urge to bring children into the world," said 20-year-old Bushra, who sells tomatoes and onions on the streets of Baghdad. Clad in black from head to toe as she sat on the roadside.

... Ibtisam Mohammad, 34, also hopes for a better future without Saddam....Illiterate and married with four children, Ibtisam said she was grateful to the US troops who freeing the Shi'ites of Saddam, although she regretted that the Americans' arrival has meant chaos. "If it's going to be like this, it would be better for them to go," she said. "Iraq's poor have suffered so much that we live like dead people."

Dar Al-Hayat.com

Below is an excerpt from an editorial that appeared on the Web site of the London-based, Saudi-owned media organization.

Frankly, I missed Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf. He is the only Iraqi official who I think deserves full amnesty on all his previous crimes, because of his cuteness when he was lying in the face of the disaster. But where is Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf? Where are Saddam and his sons? Where is Tarek Aziz? Where is the rest of the gang?

I heard that al-Sahhaf has been captured, and then he issued a statement denying it, and declaring that he was the one who actually captured the Americans. Then I heard that when Saddam's statue was destroyed in Baghdad, al-Sahhaf made a statement to say that the statue was for one of Saddam's doubles.

As for Saddam Hussein, I heard that he was under one of his demolished palaces, or in Russia, or Syria, or Cuba or Tikrit.... Let's assume that Saddam was arrested, how would we know it is he and not one of his doubles? The Americans say that they have proof, for they have DNA. How are they sure that they have Saddam's DNA, and not the DNA of one of his substitutes?

Jordan Times

Below is an excerpt from a news article on Jordan's desire to participate in delivering critical services to Iraq's citizens.

His Majesty King Abdullah...stressed the importance of the United Nations role in Iraq, particularly its delivery of assistance and basic social services to the Iraqi people, a Royal Court statement said. ... Three weeks of a US-UK war on Iraq has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties, and uncontrolled looting by Iraqis in the last four days has created a state of chaos, with even hospitals being ransacked by looters. The King indicated that Jordan is prepared to coordinate with the UN in helping provide Iraq with the necessary relief supplies.

Their Majesties said they were very concerned about the deteriorating health, living and security conditions of millions of Iraqis. ... During the meeting, ...their Majesties highlighted the government's arrangements and preparations to ensure delivery of assistance to Iraq and that medical care be provided, particularly to Iraqi children. They indicated that two field hospitals were being sent to Iraq soon and that Jordan was facilitating the mission of NGOs working to get assistance to the Iraqi people.

(UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Ramiro Lopes) da Silva said the UN office in Jordan plans to expand its activities in Iraq gradually.... He warned of dangers presented by the rampant looting and score settling. The UN team will provide basic social services to the Iraqi people in the short-run, da Silva said, adding that services differ from one area to another. In the central and southern areas water, sanitation and medical services are the priority.

However, in the northern governorates there is an urgent need to resume food distribution to citizens, which was stopped following the departure of UN staff from Iraq before the war.


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